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#SportsReport: Rangers Beat Capitals; Penguins Down Sabres

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The Philadelphia Flyers have moved into a first-place tie with Washington in the NHL's Metropolitan Division, with the Pittsburgh Penguins climbing within three points of the lead. The Caps lost their division lead when Mika Zibanejad scored his career-high fifth goal of the night, beating Ilya Samsonov at 33 seconds of overtime to send the Rangers past Washington, 6-5. 

Zibanejad is the first Ranger to score five times in a game since Mark Pavelich in February 1983. Artemi Panarin had three assists for the Blueshirts, who are just a point behind the Islanders for the second Eastern Conference wild-card. The Capitals lost for the ninth time in 13 games despite Alex Ovechkin's two goals.

The Flyers picked up their eighth straight win as Carter Hart turned back 28 shots in a 4-1 decision over the Hurricanes. Ivan Provorov, Michael Raffl, Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Sean Couturier scored for the Flyers, who are 24-5-4 at home. 

Patric Hornqvist scored twice and the Penguins inched closer to the Metropolitan lead with a 4-2 win at Buffalo. Sidney Crosby and Marcus Pettersson also scored as Pittsburgh won its second straight since a six-game slide.

Craig Anderson turned back 37 shots as the Senators handed the Islanders their fifth consecutive loss, 4-3. Anthony Duclair's 23rd goal of the season broke a 2-2 deadlock late in the second period.

The Bruins continue to pace the Atlantic Division by nine points over the Lightning after Torey Krug scored 4:08 into overtime to send Boston past the Panthers, 2-1. Jaroslav Halak stopped 32 shots in the Bruins' fourth straight win.

Tampa Bay won for just the second time in seven games as Andrei Vasilevskiy posted his 21st career shutout by stopping 32 shots in a 4-0 win over the Canadiens. Victor Hedman scored twice and Nikita Kucherov added a goal and an assist for the Lightning.

Alex DeBrincat's second goal of the game gave the Blackhawks a 4-1 lead late in the second period of a 4-3 victory against Edmonton. Leon Draisaitl had two more assists to run his league-leading point total to 110, but the Oilers failed to pull into a first-place tie with Vegas in the Pacific Division.

Adrian Kempe's shootout goal gave the Kings a 1-0 win over the Maple Leafs. Jonathan Quick stopped 36 shots in his first shutout of the season and 52nd of his career.

Zach Parise and Ryan Suter each had a goal and assist in the Wild's sixth consecutive road win, 3-2 against the Sharks. Minnesota moved ahead of Vancouver for the second wild card in the West.

Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene each scored power-play goals as the Predators blanked the Stars, 2-0 to end a three-game losing streak. Juuse Saros made 32 saves for his third shutout this season and the 10th of his career.

In NHL news, the Carolina Hurricanes have announced that defenseman Brett Pesce had surgery on his right shoulder with a recovery time estimated at 4-6 months. The 25-year-old Pesce had four goals and 18 points in 61 games this season. He was hurt in the second period of the Hurricanes' win at Toronto on Feb. 22.


The 76ers' nine-game road losing streak is over after Tobias Harris provided 28 point and 14 rebounds to lead them to a 125-108 win at Sacramento. Shake Milton scored 20 points and Al Horford added 18 points to help Philadelphia win without injured All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.

Stephen Curry returned to action Thursday against the Toronto Raptors, but the Golden State Warriors couldn't win a matchup of last year's NBA Finals. Curry finished with 23 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in 27 minutes as the Warriors fell to the Raptors, 121-113. The two-time NBA MVP missed Golden State's previous 58 games after breaking his left hand Oct. 30 versus Phoenix. Norman Powell poured in 37 points for the Raptors, who expanded their lead in the Atlantic Division to 1 ½ games over Boston. Kyle Lowry chipped in 26 points, 10 assists and five rebounds for Toronto.

Jamal Murray capped his 18-point performance by draining a running, off-balance 13-footer from the baseline with 5.1 seconds left to give the Nuggets a 114-112 win over the Hornets. Nikola Jokic added 14 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists for Denver, which trailed by eight in the fourth quarter before winning for the fourth time in eight games. The outcome keeps the Nuggets one game behind the Clippers for the second seed in the NBA's Western Conference.

Los Angeles won its sixth in a row as Kawhi Leonard delivered 25 points in a 120-105 romp over the Rockets. Montrezl Harrell added 19 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for the Clippers, who built a 67-44 halftime lead while the Rockets made just 2 of 22 3-point attempts. Russell Westbrook led the Rockets with 29 points and 15 rebounds, but James Harden added just 16 while shooting 4-for-17, including 0-for-8 from 3-point range.

In NBA news, the NBA has hit Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart with a $35,000 fine for confronting and verbally abusing the game officials at the end of Tuesday's 129-120 overtime loss to the Nets. The league said the punishment reflected his history of misconduct on the court. The Celtics blew a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter of that game and were outscored, 11-2 in overtime.


In women's college basketball, Fairfield topped Siena 58-46, Marist routed Iona 59-47, and Syracuse knocked off Virginia 67-50.

In men's top-25 basketball, Christian Vital had 26 points and James Bouknight had 17 as UConn notched its fourth straight win, 77-71 against No. 21 Houston.

Fifth-ranked San Diego State has reached the Mountain West Conference semifinals by surviving a tough test from Air Force. Jordan Schakel scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half as the Aztecs rallied for a 73-60 win over the Falcons. Air Force led 44-39 until Schakel hit back-to-back 3s to give San Diego State its first lead since early in the first half. The long-range buckets ignited a 21-3 run that sent the Aztecs to their 13th consecutive victory. Yanni Wetzell and Malachi Flynn had 16 points each as San Diego State improved to 29-1 overall this season.

Payton Pritchard furnished 20 points and 13th-ranked Oregon used an early scoring outburst to coast past California, 90-56. Anthony Matthis added 17 points on 5 for 6 shooting from 3-point range to help the Ducks move back into a first-place tie with UCLA in the Pac-12 with one game remaining.

No. 19 Ohio State prevented Illinois from moving into a four-way tie for the Big Ten lead by downing the 23rd-rated Illini, 71-63. Kaleb Wesson furnished 19 points in the Buckeyes' fourth straight win, while teammate E.J. Liddell tied a career high with 17 points and had 11 rebounds.

No. 25 Michigan blew out Nebraska, 82-58 as Jon Teske scored 12 points and Zavier Simpson added 11 in their home finale. Isaiah Livers had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Wolverines.

In college basketball news, the University of Kansas has forcefully objected to charges that its storied men's basketball and its football programs had committed significant violations tied primarily to recruiting. The school let its objections be known in nearly 300 pages of documents it issued as a formal response to the NCAA's notice of allegations Thursday night. Kansas claims several facts involving Bill Self's basketball program are in dispute, including charges that Kansas lacked institutional control and its Hall of Fame coach and his assistant, Kurtis Townsend, had committed a series of high-level violations. The NCAA issued last September its original notice of allegations which included five violations for men's basketball and two lesser ones for football. The basketball violations are all Level 1, the most severe.


Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale has a flexor strain near his left elbow and will not be scheduled for Tommy John surgery — for now. The 30-year-old left-hander felt discomfort in his pitching elbow Monday, a day after throwing his first batting practice of spring training. He had an MRI that was reviewed by team physicians and elbow specialists. Sale's ulnar collateral ligament was treated with a platelet-rich plasma injection last Aug. 19 and did not sustain additional damage. With Sale's season in doubt, the Red Sox and right-hander Collin McHugh have worked out a one-year contract worth a guaranteed $600,000, a deal that allows him to earn up to $4.25 million. The 32-year-old McHugh was 4-5 with a 4.70 ERA in 35 appearances for the Astros last season, working primarily out of the bullpen. He was a 19-game winner in 2015, but he's won just 15 games over the last three seasons.

Aaron Judge hasn't given up on being ready for the Yankees' opener at Baltimore on March 26, but still doesn't know the cause of soreness in his right pectoral muscle and shoulder. The star right fielder has undergone more than half a dozen tests, and more are scheduled. Judge stopped workouts about a week before spring training after experiencing soreness while swinging. Then he felt soreness on Feb. 28 while hitting in an indoor cage for the second consecutive day.

Jerry Koosman's No. 36 is being retired by the Mets, more than four decades after he threw his final pitch for the team. Koosman will be honored before the June 13 game against Washington. Koosman was runner-up for the 1968 NL Rookie of the Year and won 21 games for the 1976 Mets. His five-hitter beat Baltimore in the 1969 World Series for the Mets' first title.

The White Sox have agreed to a five-year, $70 million contract with Yoán Moncada, a deal that includes a $25 million club option for 2025 that would make the agreement worth $90 million for six seasons. The White Sox acquired the 24-year-old Moncada in the December 2016 trade that sent Chris Sale to the Red Sox. The third baseman broke out last season by setting career highs with a .315 batting average, 25 homers and 79 RBIs.

The Cubs have scratched pitcher Yu Darvish and second baseman Jason Kipnis because of illness. In a series of tweets in Japanese, Darvish said he had a cough yesterday and expressed reluctance about entering the clubhouse amid the coronavirus outbreak. He posted that he didn't have a fever or the flu. Theo Epstein, the president of baseball operations for the Cubs, said he didn't have "full information right now," but said it was his understanding Darvish had a daily illness and should be fine by tomorrow.


Police say New York Jets defensive lineman Quinnen Williams was arrested for criminal possession of a weapon when he attempted to board a plane at New York's LaGuardia Airport. Police say the first-round draft pick last season has a permit in his home state of Alabama for the handgun. It was not immediately known whether the gun was loaded.

The San Francisco 49ers exercised contract options Thursday to keep fullback Kyle Juszczyk and slot cornerback K'Waun Williams on the team for the 2020 season. Juszczyk is a valuable part of San Francisco's offense as a blocker and receiver out of the backfield. He will earn more than $5 million in the final season of a four-year contract he signed in 2017. Williams will be paid more than $2 million next season as a key part of the defense that helped the Niners reach the Super Bowl this year.

The NFL Players Association has sent ballots to members for voting on the proposed collective bargaining agreement. The NFLPA announced that votes would be accepted through March 12 at one minute before midnight. The more than 2,000 members will have a window of about 7 1/2 days to examine the 439-page document and cast a yes or no vote. Ratification requires a simple majority based on the number of returned ballots.


Matt Every owns the first-round lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, one shot ahead of world No. 1 Rory McIlroy. The 309th-ranked Every played in the tough afternoon wind while firing a 7-under 65. Not only was it Every's lowest round at Bay Hill, it was 20 shots better than his last round six days ago in the Honda Classic. McIlroy's 66 came during morning play. He hasn't finished out of the top 10 in any tournament since September. Talor Gooch and Scottie Scheffler share third at minus-5.

© The Associated Press 2020. All Rights Reserved.